Is Sugar Harmful for Dogs?

As mammals, dogs process foods in a way that is somewhat similar to the way we do. Sugar, in the form of glucose, is carried to all of the body’s cells via blood. Your dog may not directly be ingesting sweets, but glucose can come from carbohydrates since carbs consist of long chains of glucose, which breaks down quickly in the body and can raise blood sugar levels.

Processed granulated sugar is not a healthy option to feed to dogs, and should not be part of your dog’s diet.  The same as in humans, dogs who consume a lot of granulated sugar can develop cavities on their teeth, gain weight, and are at increased risk of developing metabolic conditions and diabetes.  These health issues can lead to other conditions such as painful oral infections, heart complications and arthritis.

Can dogs eat sugar

Dogs do need carbohydrates as part of their diet, but just not in the form of granulated sugar.

Do Dogs Like Sugar?

Dogs have fewer taste buds than we do but they still work in much the same way.  Even though it is thought that dogs use smell rather than taste buds to choose their food, they still seem to have a sweet tooth.  This means that like us dogs are attracted to sweet foods.  This also means that like us however, sugar can be addictive for dogs and consumption can lead to a host of health conditions such as cavities, obesity, and diabetes.

Can I Give My Dog Sugar Water?

Giving your puppy sugar water is one of the ways to treat low blood sugar or Hypoglycemia.  This condition is more commonly found in puppies than adult dogs as the liver isn’t fully developed.  Symptoms can include weakness, sleepiness, trembling or wobbly, and seizures.  Feeding your puppy sugar water or a sugar syrup such as honey can be an effective treatment.

A small amount of sugar water may be appropriate to feed your adult dog, helping  to keep their blood sugar levels in check if they have been vomiting and are off their food.

Does Sugar Make Dogs Hyper?

Sugar increases blood sugar levels in both humans and dogs.  Colleen Paige author of The Good Behavior Book for Dogs: The Most Annoying Dog Behaviors … Solved!, believes that dogs may get a sugar high that “can cause a dog to be hyper and unfocused.” She thinks that, in many cases in which dogs appear to be ill-mannered and uncooperative, the dog’s behavior could actually have been influenced by diet.

What Will Happen If a Dog Eats Sugar?

Dogs process sugar in a similar way we do. Sugar, in the form of glucose, is carried to all of the body’s cells via blood. Sugar can be found in commercial dog foods so while your dog may not directly be ingesting sweets he will still be getting some form of sugar or glucose.  Glucose can come from carbohydrates, which breaks down quickly in the body and can raise blood sugar levels.

Similar to what we experience, dogs can suffer a sugar low after the high, causing dogs to become “sleepy, lethargic, moody and irritable,” says Paige. If your dog is not eating high-quality food with good ingredients, your pet could experience a regular daily cycle of extreme highs and lows. Over time, problems like diabetes could result, given that the body has to work harder to process excess glucose.

As glucose can be found in packaged dog foods.  If you are concerned about how much sugar your dog is consuming, check the labels to see how much sugar they contain.  

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Bananas contain essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.  Because they are fruit bananas also contain fructose.  While fructose is considered to be okay for dogs to eat, it is still a sugar and banana like any treat food, should be fed to your dog in moderation.

While banana flesh is safe for your dog to eat, be careful about feeding them the peel.  The peel is not toxic for dogs; it has been known to cause digestive upsets.

Can Dogs Eat Apple?

Yes dogs can eat apples as a treat.  Cut an apple into pieces to make it easier for your dog to eat; and avoid giving your dog the stem, core and seeds of the apple.  The stem and core are potential choking hazards while the seeds contain cyanide which is toxic.  

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

The short answer is no, these along with raisins should not be part of your dogs diet.  Grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs and may cause symptoms such as lethargy, depression, decreased appetite, dehydration, and vomiting.  Consuming grapes can lead to kidney damage or even kidney failure in your dog.

The toxic compound in grapes is not known, nor is the amount needed to be ingested to reach toxic levels in a dog’s system.  Given this, ensure that grapes and raisins are always out of reach for your dog.

If your dog eats a grape or raisin, call your veterinarian immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Orange?

Oranges are not toxic to dogs and are fine to feed to them in small quantities; one or two segments per day.  Just like all fruit, oranges contain fructose so it is important to keep this in mind when looking at your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Begin feeding orange to your dog slowly to make sure that your dog doesn’t have any adverse digestive reaction to the fruit.  Once you’ve determined that orange is fine to feed your dog, limit it to one or two segments per day.

Orange peel is not toxic but it can cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract.  To ensure a trip to the veterinarian isn’t required keep oranges and their peel out of your dog’s reach. It’s probably also a good idea to remove any seeds from the orange before feeding to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes can be given to dogs but with caution as there are health risks for your dog if done incorrectly.  Tomato plants contain some harmful components one of which is solanine.  Solanine is harmful to dogs and can be found in the leaves and stem of tomato plants.  As solanine is largely concentrated in the green parts of a tomato plant, ripe tomatoes are generally safe to feed your dog.

If your dog has been into your vegetable garden and eaten some tomato greenery (including green tomatoes) watch him carefully for signs of poisoning.  This can include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, tremors and seizures.  Call your veterinarian if your dog is showing any of these symptoms,and you know or suspect, they’ve eaten green parts of tomato plants.

Can Dogs Eat Carrot?

Yes, carrots provide a healthy, low calorie treat for your dog.  Raw or cooked carrots can be easily added into your dogs meals boosting the nutritional value of your dog’s dinner.

When feeding carrots to your dog be mindful that the size of the piece of carrot is manageable for your dog, and won’t cause them to choke.

Like with all human foods, feed carrots to your dog in moderation.  Carrots contain sugar so it is important to keep this in mind when looking at your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Can Dogs Eat Corn?

Corn kernels are safe to feed to your dog as a treat providing they do not have an allergy to corn.  While it is safe to feed corn kernels to your dog, they do not contain many nutritional benefits and can be high in sugar.  This is important to consider when looking at your dog’s daily calorie intake.

While corn kernels are safe to feed your dog, avoid giving them corn that is still on the cob.  Some dogs may swallow the cob whole causing choking, or obstruction or an injury to their digestive tract.  Corn cobs are too large to fully break down in a dog’s stomach and too large to pass through causing an obstruction.  If your dog has swallowed a cob contact your veterinarian to seek advice.

Is Xylitol Harmful for Dogs?

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can be found in diet foods, chewing gum, candies, etc.  Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs and should never be included as part of your dog’s diet.  If ingested xylitol can cause lethargy, lack of coordination, vomiting, and potentially seizures.  If you think that your dog has eaten xylitol, take him to the vet immediately.  Xylitol reduces blood sugar levels which can lead to liver failure, so quick action is important.

Is Chocolate Harmful for Dogs?

Chocolate has to be a favorite treat in most family homes, however it can be highly toxic for dogs.  The risk to your dog depends on the type of chocolate, how much they have consumed and the size of your dog.  Theobromine is a toxic component of the cacao plant which means that levels are higher in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate.  Humans are able to easily metabolize theobromine removing it from our systems relatively quickly.  Dogs however, process it much more slowly which is why it can build up to toxic levels easily.  

In small amounts, chocolate may cause vomiting or diarrhea in your dog.  If a large amount of chocolate (theobromine) is consumed to a level causing poisoning, your dog will usually become severely hyperactive.  It is imperative to take your dog to the vet immediately if this happens, as theobromine poisoning can produce muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding, an irregular heartbeat, and may lead to a heart attack.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Most dogs love cheese and it can be a great training tool to use especially with puppies.  Not only is cheese a tasty treat, it also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as protein and calcium.   

Cheese is high in fat so it can cause weight gain or obesity if fed to dogs in high amounts.  Something to watch out for are cheeses that contain flavorings that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic or onions.  While most dogs love cheese not all dogs are able to tolerate eating it.  Lactose intolerance can occur in dogs so observe your dog after feeding them cheese for the first time to see if there is any intestinal upset.

So while some dogs can eat cheese it should be a food that is fed in moderation. 

Feeding your dog sugar is harmful

‘No’ To That Spoonful of Sugar …

Similar to humans, dogs can suffer a sugar low after a sugar high, causing dogs to become “sleepy, lethargic, moody and irritable,” says Paige. If your dog has a diet high in sugar then over time, problems like diabetes could result, given that the body has to work harder to process excess glucose.

Paige urges owners to steer clear of dog foods with excess sugar and carbs, not to mention preservatives, artificial coloring, artificial flavorings and other “no-no” ingredients, as she calls them.

Article written by Author: The Dog Daily Expert

Book Author: Colleen Paige

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